How to Encourage Your Customers to Embrace a Digital Mindset

Are your customers thinking digitally yet? Or are they still in denial about the changing supply chain model? Perhaps they’re aware of and motivated to embrace a digital mindset, but have no idea where to begin?

If there were any lessons to take away from the supply chain shortfalls experienced worldwide last year due to the pandemic shutdowns, it’s that the ability to synthesize and parse data into actionable insights for visibility and decision making is now a requirement for operational success — if not, at least, a baseline for survival.

That’s because, as you well know, digital tools have become essential for meeting consumer expectations for faster delivery, more customized service, and lower costs. This is true whether your customers serve business-to-consumer or business-to-business markets.

Next time you have a heart-to-heart with a customer about the issues their operation is facing, take the opportunity to educate them about the benefits of a digital mindset.


By sharing some of the industry resources available from MHI. To help you determine which way to direct your customers, here’s a brief overview of some of the key tools and the types of information they contain.

>>> For customers who need help identifying their organization’s current digital mindset and actionable steps to boost its rate of progress toward technology adoption: The Supply Chain Digital Consciousness Index (DCI) Toolkit.

As a self-assessment tool, the DCI helps leaders determine their organization’s level of digital awareness (dormant, developing, heightened, or elevated) across five categories (leadership, innovation/technology, customer engagement, talent, and workplace environment). With that information in hand, they can then leverage the prescriptive, actionable steps outlined in the DCI Toolkit to help their company move from current to desired levels of digital supply chain progress.

>>> For customers who want to know where their organization’s digital mindset stands in relation to the industry as a whole, and how others are leveraging digital technologies successfully: The MHI Annual Industry Report.

Based on the results of an ongoing survey of supply chain leaders conducted annually by Deloitte Consulting LLC, the latest report explores the rate of adoption of 11 digital technologies, including: cloud computing, robotics, automation, sensors, automatic identification, inventory and network optimization, and predictive analytics. It also shares the top challenges faced by the industry (hiring and retaining qualified workers, and rising customer expectations for lower costs, faster response, and better customer service) and how they can be mitigated by applying these digital innovations. The eighth installment of the report will be released in April 2021.

>>> For customers who want to explore the future trends and opportunities that a digital mindset will help them leverage over the next 10 to 20 years: Transformation Age: Shaping Your Future, MHI’s Third Roadmap.

This digital resource provides a look at the future from a strategic planning point of view. Across the report’s findings, three themes resonate:

– This era will be characterized by continuing and rapid change; operating in the same way as before will not be a successful strategy going forward. More than a need for new technology, business success will require completely new operational approaches.

– Many of the technologies and digital tools highlighted in MHI’s Annual Industry Reports will reach a new level of commercial viability in this era. Further, the days of siloed technologies are over; rather, value will come from applying and integrating multiple sets of solutions.

– Transformation requires change, which can be unsettling and difficult to enact, but also delivers opportunity. Companies that adopt this new digital course will be best positioned to take advantage of the coming opportunities.

>>> For customers who want to learn more about the latest solutions and technologies that will help them achieve a digital supply chain: ProMatDX 2021.

Held online for the first time and available free of charge to all registered attendees, ProMatDX offers critical access to the newest technologies and advanced solutions, including the digital tools that improve operational resiliency and agility. The show features 400 product showcases with live chat and digital product demos; 100 educational seminars exploring emerging technologies; and informative keynotes.